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A big ugly fly in XCOM 2 [official site]’s deliciously deadly ointment is that Firaxis’ game runs like a Psy-Zombie on quite a few folks’ PCs – even those with relatively monster systems. It’s not universal woe – for instance, it runs fine for Adam, hence his only mentioning passing problems in his review, but on my slightly superior PC I can’t even hit the golden 60 frames at minimum settings, while high sees it drop to single digits. In either case there are huge, frustrating lag-spikes throughout, and my PC’s running so uncharacteristically hot that I’m pretty sure I could roast a marshmallow over the rear vent.
I’m far from alone, as a glance at the Steam forums, official boards or Reddit will very quickly reveal. It’s a damn shame, crossing the line from ultimately meaningless visual sacrifices into actively annoying slowness. Firaxis and 2K aren’t giving anything away about what the problem is or when a fix will land, though they do tell us that they’re “aware some players have experienced performance issues” and that they’re looking into it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in the meantime – including one particular off-the-beaten-track fix which damn-near doubled my own frame rate. … [visit site to read more]
Firaxis have unveiled an XCOM 2 [official site] stat-tracking page that shows how many soldiers have died, how many aliens have been killed and other such details. Four and a half million XCOM soldiers dead in less than a week since launch. Good work, Commanders. Five percent of those soldiers met their end at the hands and teeth of a zombie. Really great work, Commanders, seriously. You are nailing it. The stats page currently tells me that none of you have managed to complete the game but that is, apparently, an error.
It s tradition now: when an XCOM game comes out, you recreate your friends, colleagues and record-collection-stealing former lovers then send them out to be murdered by aliens. Basically, it s the Sims with Sectoids rather than sex.
But they’ll only star briefly. Whenever someone dies, they ll be replaced by one of this site s readers. Who will also almost certainly die. That s how much we love you. … [visit site to read more]
XCOM 2 [official site] isn’t just a big pile of tactical brilliance, it’s also a big mod-friendly pile of tactical brilliance. Theoretically, that means someone will iron out the things that annoy you and build on the things you love. It also means we can expect anything from an increase in moustache variety to a revamped campaign or series of total conversions.
To kick things off, Firaxis commissioned the clever folks who made the Long War mod for Enemy Unknown to produce three day-one mods for XCOM 2. They are neat additions but, more than that, they’re signposts toward an exciting future.
I don’t mean “I’m excited that this videogame sequel is coming out,” but rather that the game itself works so hard and does so much to create a constant sense of near-euphoric drama. In an age where sequels=darker, because far too many people believe that The Empire Strikes Back is the highest watermark of popular culture, XCOM 2 [official site]s lurch towards brightly-coloured celebratory heroism is a welcome one – and it does this even though, thematically, we’re talking a post-alien-invasion Earth and all the horror that implies. It wouldn’t be unfair to invoke Independence Day comparisons, but it wouldn’t be quite correct either: XCOM 2 does have that hoorah-heroism, but fortunately it’s bereft of flag-waving. This is the bright dystopia, the heroic rebellion rather than the forlorn resistance.
When I play XCOM 2, I feel incredibly excited most of the time, and it’s not just because of soaring military march soundtrack – there are dozens of tiny things it does to make me feel like an action hero (or a least a commander of action heroes).
I visited Firaxis in 2014 to see Civilization: Beyond Earth and it was impossible not to wonder which closed doors were hiding the XCOM 2 [official site] team. The game hadn’t been announced but surely somebody was working on a sequel. Would it follow the path of the original games and take to the Lovecraftian depths? Would it reach toward the stars and a battle on various alien homeworlds? Would it take risks or rest comfortably on well-earned laurels?
The answer, as we now know, didn’t quite fit any of the above. These are happy times for the XCOM devotee but I’m hoping for an apocalyptic future. Here are a few ideas and hopes for what the game’s first expansion might be.
In 2012, Firaxis took on the seemingly impossible task of reviving one of the most beloved PC games ever made. The original X-COM is widely considered to be one of the masterpieces of the nineties golden age, and since its release there have been sequels, spin-offs and unofficial revivals, but Firaxis’ XCOM was a complete, licensed reinterpretation. It was also rather good. Now, with XCOM 2 [official site] ready for release, Firaxis aim to improve on the formula that made Enemy Unknown such a triumph. Here’s wot I think.>
Alec hasn’t been the same since he returned from the Long War. The celebrated XCOM mod turns the base game’s wee scrap into a gruelling war, chewing through your forces and your resolve with relentless difficulty. Some days we find him simply sitting in a chair by the window, staring out to sea, his bottom lip quivering.
While Adam is larking about in XCOM 2, I’m replaying XCOM: Enemy Within to demonstrate how totally fine and unbothered I am that he has access and I don’t. It’s still really fun! Last night I ordered a cyberlady to punch a robodino so hard it exploded.
If you want to join in with not feeling bitter, the latest Humble Bundle is a cracker. It’s a big merry load of cheap Firaxis strategy games, with your XCOMs and your Civilizations and your Pirates! and your Starships and so on for not very much money at all. We can all be unbothered together.